Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Oct 17, 2009 5:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

"Does it seem unusual that Jerry went the other way from the stereotype of many heads in terms of a healthy, natural lifestyle?"

In all my years on tour, I don't think I ever remember or saw anyone whom I thought was living a healthy and natural lifestyle. Just my view.

Jerry was just another human with all his faults. He could have said stop at any point (Drugs and touring). I don't think his choice of dope had anything to do with his followers, nor did he owe them anything.

I don't think any less of him now, but I do feel sorry for him in many ways. At the time I thought he was doing shows because he loved it and had a good time doing so. When you look back after hear some of the facts, a lot of his time was spend feeding the monster they created, and the need to feed is habit.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 17, 2009 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

One of the things that stuck with me immediately following Jerry's death in '95 was a comment Weir made that Jerry (paraphrasing here) always had a bit of a "F--- You" attitude for the rest of the world inherent in him whenever people tried to point out that he "should" be doing this or "should not" be doing that.

it's part of the reason he had so many returns to harmful self-behavior over the years and that friends and family had a hard time intervening successfully on his behalf.

But I think this is very much in stride with the overall Grateful Dead ethos, which really was about flouting conventional expectations...whether in regards to rejecting the norms it took to work with producers and make "mainstream records", being part of the true hippie origins of the Haight (don't forget the Dead had had enough of that 'scene' by the time the summer of love in '67 came around--moving out of the Haight just as the whole scene got co-opted by wanna-be's from away and even mainstream advertising who saw a $$$ potential in trying to appeal to a coveted age group)...nothing the Dead--or Jerry by extension--ever did (until arguably "In the Dark") ever was about conforming to an "approved" way of living.

I personally am pleased Garcia lived his all-too-short life just as he did and made the contributions he did musically rather than having "cleaned-up" if that would have meant living a few extra years and turning into a kind of Phil Collins version of his former self.

There's no question that the rigors of the constant touring machine that became the Dead, combined with Garcia's drug intake over so many years, led to an early demise. But Jerry was in that rock and hard place middle ground--he probably would have loved to scale back the "machine", but also loved playing live. I think it's also fair to say he loved getting high, and while he abusd that notion to his detriment, it was a part of who he was and can't be separated from the story of his life.

Would he have still made the great music he did if he had, let's say, given up the hard stuff for good by 1975? Impossible to say. But let's say he did, by--perhaps "finding religion." Would he have stopped touring w/the Dead b/c that scene was inextricably bound up in the drug culture--a temptation his newfound faith would find unacceptable? Maybe. And that would have been a loss for thousands of fans who found bliss at his concerts.

Or put another way--if he had stayed off drugs, would some of the improvisational magic that sometimes did occur at least partially as a result of that activity been compromised in his live performances? (No doubt that same drug intake led also to some of the poorer performances, especially in the 80's, but there is a trade-off.)

The Dead were always about seeking out that magical show even if it meant enduring some less-than-stellar ones in between. Because they toured so much, if you were willing to keep trying chances are you'd find more diamonds than dumps.

If the question comes down to: Did Jerry owe it to us somehow (and of course to his family) to have lived better and longer? My own personal opinion is "no" because the essence of who he was had a lot to do with being a rebel--musically, culturally, perhaps even spiritually in a way no one but he could ever know.

Giving that middle finger to the rest of us, even when it was clear doing so was against his own best interests, was ultimately his way of being, and the fact that he was still able to leave such a vast treasure trove of musical genius behind in his short 54-year life span is a remarkable enough achievement and one I'm certainly Grateful for.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 17, 2009 7:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

Great points, I never have thought about if a "clean" Jerry would have been a "different" Jerry.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 18, 2009 12:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

clean Jerry? Gee name any musician that doesn't suck ass or is barely tolerable after they quit. Not saying they shouldn't just saying the music is never as good or usually good at all after that.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Oct 19, 2009 7:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

Isn't Jorma K clean & sober now? He is still playing real good stuff.

Johnny Winter is playing better now than he was 10 years ago - mainly because he got off the pills, etc.

Maybe these are exceptions, but I feel that for the truly talented who love what they do the product will be quality regardless of the soberness factor.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 19, 2009 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

" Maybe these are exceptions, but I feel that for the truly talented who love what they do the product will be quality regardless of the soberness factor. "

you're right. A great musician will always be quality. Guess I just like a little more dysfunction in my music

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Oct 19, 2009 10:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

You may be right - I saw JGB in Summer '83 at Roseland. He was quite obviously on another planet (opiates I'm guessing) and he played a raw and gritty solid show. I clearly remember wondering to myself how he managed to remain standing through the show, much less play rather amazingly!

The H was speaking through Jerry

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 19, 2009 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

" Isn't Jorma K clean & sober now? He is still playing real good stuff."

yeah but none of it raw or cutting edge. Still played brilliant but they've lost the HOT part of the name imo. Still respectable of course and in no way am I advocating that people with a habit shouldn't get clean

This post was modified by johnnyonthespot on 2009-10-19 16:47:21

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 18, 2009 10:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

Great points, GC!

Just like my old man: if he hadn't been a mean SOB, intolerant of fools, and so forth, he wouldn't have been the success on any number of levels...you really do have to take the good with the bad, and leave it at that.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Death&Mercy Date: Oct 18, 2009 12:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

Very well said Grendel.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 18, 2009 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

thanks for that post!

what it comes down to is a musician's personal life is really none of his audience's beezwax

respect the man's music?
OK then...respect his privacy

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2009-10-19 04:17:43

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: skies Date: Oct 19, 2009 9:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Poll

Very well said , Midnight Sun !